Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cudi and Dot Da Genius Are WZRDs of Sampling

Ahhh yes, about a week ago we witnessed @wizardcud debuting the track below in Australia and now today we get the real thing on iTunes today. If there's one thing Cudi and @DotDaGenius have the no other duo in the game possesses, it's the ability to find quality under the radar samples. Single-handedly they have put me on to bands like LCD Soundsystem, Ratatat, Crookers, Band of Horses and now Desire.

Serving as the lead single to their self titled debut album due out Feb 28th, Teleport 2 Me, Jamie is every bit as melancholy and dripped with emotion as you'd expect. What sets the track apart is the sample, which is executed brilliantly by the duo. The sample is taken from the @desireofficial Under Your Spell (below)...

Talk about taking a simple element of an unheard of track and molding it into something that fits your sound to a T. The presence of electronic samples and instrumentation is something I hope continues throughout WZRD's debut studio album. Put it this way, if another @ratatat feature finds a way to surface on the album, I'll be one happy customer. One month til it drops, keep it locked her for more WZRD tracks and they become readily available on the information super highway...#NoSpeedLimit

WZRD - Teleport to Me, Jamie (prod by Dot da Genius)

Monday, January 30, 2012

K'naan feat Nelly Furtado - Is Anybody Out There?

I'll be the first to admit, I missed the bus on @knaan and haven't really heard much of his stuff other than Wavin' Flag. Being a Somali Canadian, poet, artist, instrumentalist, all it takes is one listen to understand he is all about making inspirational music that can bring people together. I can respect that and when I see artists like @Nas and @nellyfurtado showing up on his new More Beautiful Than Silence (EP), I'm going to start taking notice.

The clear standout track to me on the five song EP is his uplifting collabo with the aforementioned Nelly Furtado. It's been a while since I've heard her on a track and I gotta admit, it's more than a little refreshing. Nelly if you're out there, feel free and hook back up with @Timbaland for a few tracks. It'd be the best for all parties involved...#Understatement

Feel free and check out the lyric video put together by K'naan. It's a decent touch because it manages to be artistic without being too costly. I can dig that and you should dig this song, it's delightfully pop and make just leave you in a good mood if you let it...
K'naan feat Nelly Furtado - Is Anybody Out There?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

"Gimme Dat, Gimme Dat Bass Bitch!"

If it seems like I've been posting a new @thecataracs track every other day of late then all I have to say is you're welcome. Considering how they've taken artists like @devishot and @fareastmovement from relative obscurity to pop stars, there's little doubt in their ability to create fun, upbeat, trendy dance music. Below is their newest solo effort called Synthesizer, which they made an unoffical video for all you visual learners...
Anybody else appreciate how the blended in the dog barking to the end of the hook. Pretty creative in my opinions. No word on whether the track below will be a single, but it will presumably surface on their new studio album due on in March titled 12. If you're in the mood to rage to loud music or need a new one to play at the party for Super Bowl weekend, feel free and left click and drag to your newest iTunes playlist. Oh and on the subject of the Super Bowl I hope the Giants and Patriots both lose this weekend...somehow...whether it be a tie or Tom Brady just being too good looking to win or lose, I hope it happens...#TerribleMatchup

The Cataracs - Synthesizer

Saturday, January 28, 2012

"Angels and Stars, Hear Them on the Radio"

It seems like the theme of the week so far has been multi-talented people who just happened to be Hip Hop artists too. First it was @donaldglover who damn near moves mountains with his acting, writing and rapping career. Then is was @bigkrit who makes just as much of a living producing as he does rapping. Now it's time to get to know @EricTurner who is primarily a math teacher in an English school in Sweden, but is also an accomplished visual artist who just happens to write and perform music too. How did he get his break you ask? Well for starters he impressed an engineer in Sweden while performing with his bang Street Fighting Man. That engineer went and told his producer friend named @iSHi_2Stripes, who happens to have his own record label (2Stripes Music). Ishi must have been impressed because they ended up teaming up to write @tinietempah's #1 single Written in the Stars. You may have even wondered who that guy was belting out the ever so addictive hook on that track?

That my friends is Eric Turner and he's about embark on his own solo gig this year. The first step in that process is the breakthrough single below featuring Tinie Tempah and @lupefiasco with production from his PIC Ishi. The song is called Angels and Stars and is every bit as radio worthy and catchy as Written in the Stars. The track will be released sometime in mid-February and as soon as that iTunes link becomes a reality, you can bet I'll add it to this post. No word yet on what the debut album will be called, but you can bet I'll be posting more than just one track of his if he continues to put in work like he's been doin'. Consider this a warning shot before you begin hearing the track below every fifth song on top 40 radio...#BetDat

Eric Turner feat. Lupe Fiasco & Tinie Tempah - Angels & Stars (prod by Ishi)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Videos of the Week Jan 27th

Sort of a slow week for videos, but that didn't stop me from venturing off the beaten path in search of a few gems to post. I've already posted about how re-cot-damn-diculously good @MikePosner's latest mixtape The Layover was and the video below for my favorite track off the mixtape only serves to solidify my feelings about the mixtape as a whole. Still, the Hip Hop game has it a little twisted when @rickyrozay's latest tape (for example) was downloaded over 849,000 times compared to Mike's latest tape's 66,000. I get that Ross is the bigger name (no pun intended...seriously), but c'mon y'all, you can't tell me it was anywhere close to as solid as Mikey's effort.

Anyways, I'm really looking forward to @wizardcud's new rock album from his group WZRD. Feel free to peruse the official tracklist below and check out his full performance of Teleport 2 Me in Australia (below). I'll admit too, I was more than a little mildly entertained by the Bon Joviver mashup by @wearemoms. I'll also concede that I did laugh at their twitter handle and especially appreciated their sarcastically real reason of "Miracles of Modern Science won't fit in Twitter's name box." Have a good weekend y'all!

Mike Posner - A Perfect Mess (Video)

Kid Cudi Performing Teleport to Me in Australia

Florence and the Machine - Lover to Lover (Video)

Sleigh Bells - Comeback Kid (Video)

Nappy Roots feat Khujo Goodie - Pete Rose (Video)

Bon Iver vs Bon Jovi = Miracles of Modern Science

Thursday, January 26, 2012

"You Say Isn’t It Hard? Paddling Out, Paddling Out"

I'll be the first to admit, I did a poor job of giving enough credit to @MiikeSnow for their self titled debut album. Like everyone else, I was impressed with tracks like Animal and Black and Blue. I like upbeat music in general, so despite my inability to properly slot Miike's music into a genre, I am not missing out on an opportunity to get people who read my blog excited about his new album.

The new effort, titled Happy to You, is going to drop on March 26th. Paddling Out will serve as the lead single. For all of you closely paying attention, you may have thought his latest track Devil's Work was their first single, but that didn't end up coming to fruition. Despite being dope in it's own right, it will take a backseat to the one below.

Another cool thing to note is that a group led by Miike group members, @lykkeliofficial and @peterbjorn recently formed INGRID records back in July. I can see the closeness in proximity with musical style between the three and the fact that two out of three are Swedish probably helps. Either way, I'm liking the uniqueness that they keep coming with and am seriously considering seeing Miike in concert when he turns eastward on his Happy to You tour...#SeeYaThere

Miike Snow - Paddling Out

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"Rise of the Black Kings, Lions and the Pharaohs"

The internet does not know much about @sunnicolon, but that won't stop me from giving him a shout out and posting one of his tracks. The cool thing is, if you're wanting to get to know him feel free and ask him a question on his website. In fact, recently he was asked who his top five favorite rappers are. In no particular order, he listed "Andre 3000, Phonte, Nas, Method Man, and Jay Z." Can't say I could offer a compelling argument to disclude any of those five, but I probably would have an entirely different list...#ToEachTheirOwn

Anyways before I go any further, I feel like it'd be a good move on your part to press play below and check out the visual version of Sunni's track Lost Tribe...

The march worthy pace of the percussion is hard to ignore and it gives the track an inspirational feel. Stylistically you could probably cut and paste Kanye with Sunni and not notice a change, which is pretty cool. Who needs a hook when you can go bar after bar for a full three minutes spitting not so subtly about various race issues. If I were a betting man, I'd feel comfortable putting my money on someone with the propensity for lyrical depth like Sunni is capable of. The sheer fact that he lists the items below to describe himself, leads me to believe there's some serious potential bubbling below the horizon.

Keep the newness comin' Sunni, I like what I'm hearing so far...

Sunni Colon - Lost Tribe

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"We Buy Gold, Grams and O's"

Yep, I'd say it's safe to say in my eyes @bigkrit has taken over Southern Hip Hop. No disrespect to @tip, seeing he is the King of the South, but K.R.I.T. can do it all. He's consistently putting together retro, UGK quality type beats that make me think of Pimp C every single damn time I hear one of his beats. Add to that, he can chip in a hook or verse and you've got yourself a triple threat that maybe only @JColeNC can rival.

Below is a video of him at work in studio with @dareal_8ball and @pimptypemjg as they lay down verses over his head nod worthy, Southern funk masterpiece.

Pretty cool hearing 8ball reminisce back to 1994 when he made the same type of music with the late Pimp C. If you're wondering where this track will land, you're in luck. Word has it 8ball is releasing a new mixtape titled Premro, which will be hosted by @iamdrumma and is due out soon. I bet you didn't even know 8ball's real name is Premro Smith, did you? That makes two of us, but it explains the title of the mixtape.

On another note, keep an eye out for K.R.I.T.'s debut studio album titled Live From the Underground due early 2012. My expectations are high, but with efforts like the one below, I should have very little to worry about...#Hype

8Ball & MJG feat Big K.R.I.T. - We Buy Gold (prod by Big K.R.I.T.)

Monday, January 23, 2012

"Fly So Much Call Me Mrs. Jetlag"

It seems like everything @DEVisHOT touches these days finds a way to the top of my iTunes workout playlist. Lucky for her, @thecataracs believe in her skills enough to keep a steady supply of dancefloor worthy beats coming her way.

It appears we weren't the only ones who noticed as @timbaland has sought her out for a few potential future efforts. I say potential because both tracks below sound like demos or unfinished versions. What surprises me about Don't Hurt It is that Timbaland scored a feature rather than a production credit. I can't say it's unheard of though because they were both featured on @davidguetta's album together on a track. Still, the second track below sounds more like home with Timbo sporting a throwback, Timbaland/Magoo sounding beat on Jet Setting. No word yet on who the Jet Setting track is a demo for, but it should make waves if sculpted into an eventual single.

Shock Value III is due out in 2012 and I believe congrats are in order for Dev who just welcomed in her first child on December 9th, 2011. Apologies for the snippet below, you can bet if Jet Setting gets finished, you'll find it here.

Dev ft. Timbaland - Don't Hurt It (prod by The Cataracs)

Dev - Jet Setting (prod by Timbaland) (Snip)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Quicker Than a Lana Del Rey of Light

Ya know that old saying, "There's no such thing as bad publicity?" That seems to be a common theme I've noticed this month as I've managed to find two likable new artists because someone seemingly "important" very vocally denounced them as artists. First it was @donaldglover, who I discovered because one of my favorite blogs Pigeons and Planes did a long winded reactionary post on Pitchfork giving his album Camp a 1.6 out of 10. Nothing screams "your album is awesome and I have a personal grudge against you and don't want you to succeed" than a 1.6 out of 10.

Now it seems the public has turned it's eye to an interesting young woman named @lanadelrey. How did I get wind of her you ask? Simply put it was because @bwilliams's thought her performance on Saturday Night Live was "one of the worst outings in SNL history." In case you missed it, feel free to watch her performances of Blue Jeans and Video Games. And here's a good summation of the degree that everyone went HAM on Lana after the performance.

So what's all the buzz about then? Well for starters, Elizabeth Lizzy Grant transformed into Lana Del Rey overnight and released the video below, which is now up to 21 million views...
Video Games was the beginning of people becoming curious of her for a lot of reasons. For one, she's got a female Johnny Cash thing going on with her slow, drawn out diction. On top of that, it'd be fair to say she's sort of girl next door cute and her throwback style perfectly aligns with her "Gangster Nancy Sinatra" image.

So why is everyone attacking her? That's a good question and I have a few theories. First off, she's sooo incredibly different than anything else out that many people are skeptical of her authenticity. From the millionaire parents to the intricately recreated persona, the super botoxed lips...it's easy to see why people are skeptical. Add to that the @kanyewest comparisons because of her dark, haunting song lyrics and slightly inflated self-confidence and you've got a bullseye starting to form her back. When you describe your own music by saying, “Think Nina Simone singing a Cat Power song over Lil Wayne’s track. It’s Sick.", then it can rub writers (whose job is to come up with these creative descriptions) the wrong way. It's like giving yourself a nickname before anybody really knows you...#OhWaitSheAlreadyDidThat

If you're wondering how I feel about Lana, the jury is still deliberating. Do I think her reincarnation as a new artist is interesting as hell and she is worthy of respect for bringing something different to the table? I'd say so, but let's all keep in mind that her debut album hasn't even hit stores yet. My hope is that you take a similar stance and wait to judge after you hear Born to Die, which is due out next Monday, Jan 31st. From an underdog perspective, I hope she shakes the haters and becomes the rose that grew from concrete. That being said, I really hope she isn't being forced down our throats because she has a Rebecca Black type backing both financially and creatively...#FridayWillNeverBeTheSame

Lana Del Rey - Video Games

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Skylar Grey Flys Solo and Soars

Here's a simple math equation that may require a little bit of abstract thought:

@SkylarGrey - @LupeFiasco - @iamdiddy - @Eminem = ?

One might think that the equation above would have resulted in a negative number because of all that was subtracted from the equation. Not so fast my friend! #CorsoStyle My answer to that equation is "= a stripped down display of vocal brilliance."

I say that because Skylar isn't just your average, run of the mill, pretty face that can sing a hook. She's proven on both Invisible and Dance Without You that her debut album (that is supposedly set to feature Marilyn Manson) Invinsible is going to be one of the more hyped releases this year. A year ago I would have probably attributed a lot of her blowing up to the closeness in proximity to super producer @alexdakid. Sure his presence helps, but her talent as a vocalist goes waaaay beyond that.

It was a tough decision which of the three songs off her new Buried Sessions EP I should post because they're all great in their own respect. Still, something about Home churns up a whole lot of nostalgic memories that take me back to a time when life was a lot simpler...#ThoseWereTheDays

Skylar Grey - Home (Buried Sessions)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Videos of the Week Jan 20

Definitely went wide on my scope for videos this week as I managed to encompass a few videos that may have fallen beneath the radar this past week. Pretty cool watching @Yelawolf's journey with his Tide to the National Championship, as well as the in studio video of some of the quickest lyricists on the mic with @RealDjKayslay. If you haven't gotten a formal introduction to @Drake's right hand producer, I found it interesting hearing @OVO40 talk about how the Buried Alive (Interlude) with @kendricklamar came about. Lastly, if you haven't caught wind of the firestorm that is @lanadelrey, feel free to give her SNL performance a quick watch and see if you disliked it as much as Brian Williams. I'm only beginning to listen to her and she isn't half bad...or at least half as bad as you made her seem. I know we all love sarcasm via email, but in the world we live in, it's never safe to admit that emails are private. To everybody else throwing darts at Lana...#StopHatin

Lana Del Rey Performs Video Games on SNL

Nicki Minaj - Stupid Hoe (Video)

Yelawolf LSU vs Alabama Webisode

DJ Kay Slay f. Busta Rhymes, Layzie Bone, Twista & Jaz-O -- 60 Second Assassins (Video)

Bei Maejor - Mesmerized (Video)

B.O.B. feat Future & Trae Da Truth - How Bout Dat (Video) 

Drake's Right Hand Man 40 Talks Kendrick Lamar's Buried Alive Interlude

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cthulhu is Back With a Vengeance

It's not everyday you get a haunting new beat from @deadmau5 via Twitter.
Beginning with the haunting synths, the track has takes on an eerie vibe. Like any respectable electo-dance track, the beat picks up and gets pretty loud, almost as if Cthulhu is emerging from his lair. Who doesn't like a scary demonic monster themed song ever now and again? #NerdySide

Oh you haven't heard of Cthulhu? Well then I'd suggest reading The Call of Cthulhu, which was written by H.P. Lovecraft and published pretty recently in 1928. If you're wondering just what in the hell Cthulhu actually is, he's "an octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature....A pulpy, tentacled head surmounted a grotesque scaly body with rudimentary wings." How cool is that?

Feel free and add this to your weightlifting and road rage playlists...#LetsRage

Deadmau5 - Cthulhu Dreams

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"Made the Beat Then Murdered it, Casey Anthony"

"I always wanted to get picked on the cool team
But alone is exactly how I should be"
First of all I want a show of hands if you have heard the name Donald Glover. Maybe you've seen him on Community as Troy Barnes? Or you may know him as a talented writer for 30 Rock? Not ringing a bell yet? What about as a writer for the Daily Show? Stop me if you're not impressed yet because I haven't even gotten to the music yet.

In an attempt to put a neat little bow on the intro paragraph, feel free and check out the five minute feature Forbes magazine did on @donaldglover as one of their 30 disrupters under 30...

Acting, writing and rapping...can anybody think of someone else who has done that? Alright, I'm not going THAT far to compare him to @drake, but between the two I'm learning what type of Hip Hop I value most. I like Hip Hop that is provocative, creative, funny, witty and well thought out. That's why I enjoy rappers like @crookedintriago, @joebudden and Notorious B.I.G. to name a few. Sure they say some messed up, crazy shit at times, but there's meaning behind what they say and their lyrics are consistently a step ahead of what your brain is able to process while listening. Lyrical depth is when you listen to a track ten times and on the 11th you finally understand a line that was previously nonsense.

Why did I just go off on a long tangent about Hip Hop with meaning? Because I'm getting a strong sense that Childish Gambino embodies just about every characteristic I covet in a Hip Hop artist. I'd describe him as a mix between Tyler, The Creator (says f'ed up things like "Or you can fuckin’ kiss my ass, Human Centipede"), Fredro Star of ONYX (delivery on Bonfire reminds me of Fredro on verse 1 of Slam) and a mix of Kanye West/Kid Cudi (has slightly dark, introspective thoughts like "Sometimes I feel like I ain't supposed to be here, Sometimes I wake up, I don't want to be here"). Give a listen to his high powered lead single off of his debut album, Camp and feel free to judge the comparisons...
Childish Gambino - Bonfire

No holds barred is a good way to describe Bonfire, but don't form your opinion without giving my favorite track of his a listen. I say that because there's a chance you listened to Bonfire and heard enough weird vulgar references to get turned off like I did when I first listened to @fucktyler.

Instead of a lyrical rampage, on All the Shine you can expect a full on display of styles, tempos and emotions that make the complicated Childish Gambino great. From the dramatic beat build that leads into a triumphant instrumental, you can feel a palpable energy snowball rolling downhill. Between the witty rhymes ("that's why i come first like my cell phone"), to the justification of saying stupid provocative sh** on the track, to the surprisingly melodic and catchy hook, the track has much to offer. Even better, he shows off a vulnerable side on the last verse as he wonders about his fate in Hip Hop aloud and even questions his existence in a very Cudi manor. I really don't know why I find depressing introspective diatribes so interesting, but I'm thinking that it comes from being amazed with a rapper's ability to switch gears and be two polar opposites all in one track (confident and vulnerable).

As I listen to his album more and more I'm a little angry at myself for being late to the party. Sure his album was released mid-November and is only two months old, but still, not one single listen from ya boy until this week. What's even crazier is the wide range of reviews Camp received by various music outlets. They ranged from really favorable (4 out of 5 cigs from the TSS Crew) to downright awful (Pitchfork...seriously @sexyresults?? a 1.6/10...smmfh #credibilityLoss). I'll side with @The_TSS_TC and the @TSSCrew's infinite wisdom because Donald Glover can do no wrong with anything he does of late and that most definitely INCLUDES music...#DebatablyClassicDebut

Childish Gambino - All the Shine

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hip Hop That is Made for a Lunchbox

Man it seems like a really long time since we've heard anything new from @DONNISMUSIC. If you're paying close attention, April 2011 was the last time he released new music via his under-rated mixtape titled Southern Lights. Good news is, he's not going to let that happen in 2012 and to start with he's releasing a three-week-long series will each include two new songs via Snack Pack mini-mixtape/zips.

To start with, check the partial video for his newest track, Hoes. My only question is where is the full version? Kinda strange to get a snippet video version of a mixtape track? #JustSayin

Hoes (Directed by Hi 5 Collective)

Anyways, my pick between the two tracks below is Gimme. The track is produced by @GODSPAPARAZZI and features @bsbdmusic. Until now I hadn't really heard of Blue Sky Black Death, but they're a young production duo out of Seattle. Always fun to learn about new up and comers, especially when they are a part of a noteworthy track. I'll put it this way, you'll listen to Gimme and the hook will stick to you like glue. There's something about the sweet melody that hits just right with the mellow vibe of the track.

On Bad as She Wanna Be, Donnis takes on more of his traditional role of talkin' shit on the mic and weaving together swagger laced one liners. I can see why a lot of others would pick this one as her favorite because of the repeat-ability and top notch verses with memorable bars like "Siri couldn't find her in a f'in pathfinder with a compass." Can't go wrong with either track below or his new song Hoes, which means Donnis is off to a quick start in 2012. #HeadsUpForVol2

Donnis - Gimme (prod by Gods Paparazzi)

Donnis - Bad as She Wanna Be (prod by Gods Paparazzi)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Steve Aoki...Great DJ...Terrible Fighter

A couple weeks back I took notice of a new Cudi track that was featuring a guy named Steve Aoki. Hmm...never heard of him and then googling ensued. What I found was that he's becoming a pretty well known electronic/house DJ. I say well known because his new album is chalked full of cameos that you would recognize like Lil Jon, Chiddy Bang, LMFAO, Kid Cudi and Travis Barker. Adding to that, @steveaoki already contributed with the likes of internationally recognized DJs like Afrojack and Tiesto.

Before I get too far into the lead single off his new album, you should probably view it for the first time by watching the video. I don't know why it's so entertaining, but seeing a guy get absolutely wrecked by a fine looking woman is fun to watch. Go @wyntermusic!

As I'm becoming more of a fan of electronic music in general, I'm getting a feeling that dubstep is starting to slowly become part of the genre. I say that because there is a notable dubstep influence on the beat below that blends flawlessly with the electronic rhythms. I like it though, it keeps the energy high and plays well at parties.

Do yourself a favor and go check out Steve's new album Wonderland that hit iTunes last week. I'm midway through it now and starting to really like it as I listen more.

Steve Aoki feat Wynter Gordon - Ladi Dadi

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Album Review: Drake Take Care

It's been a while since I've done an album review, but I figured what better way to get back on the horse than reviewing @Drake's latest album. I know I'm a little tardy on the review, but better late than never. Those of you who visit my site on a frequent basis know how passionate I am about Drake's music, so the main reason I've put off the review for so long is because I knew it would be a big time commitment. Why can't I do a simple, short album review you ask? Because accountability to me is not doing a half-assed review of a quality album. As a result, I tend to be long winded with my album reviews and try to give back as much detailed opinion as I can possibly give in one post. #ConciseRhymesWithNotNice

To shake things up a bit, I tried a different approach to the organization of my review. For starters, I categorized the tracks on his album into two tiers and reviewed the tiers as a whole.
Top Tier (Top 7 Tracks):
1. Take a Shot
2. Over My Dead Body
3. The Motto
4. Take Care
5. Make Me Proud
6. Buried Alive (Interlude)
As you know by now, I'm not one to shy away from writing about Drake tracks, especially tracks of his I really like. As a result, it shouldn't be a surprise that I've previously done a post on most of my favorite songs on Take Care. The best decision Drake made when constructing the tracklist was to lead with Over My Dead Body and Take a Shot. When trying to live up to enormous expectations, leading with two tracks that weren't singles, but were still standout tracks, was a great move.

With so much of the sound of the album being shaped by @OVO40, Take Care was able to take on a unique sound that is more comparable to So Far Gone than Thank Me Later. Even better, relatively unknown but extremely talented up and coming artists like @Kendrick_Lamar and @theweekndxo were able to get their chance to shine throughout the track on features. Hands down the most awe inspiring verse on the album came from Kendrick Lamar on the Buried Alive (Interlude). It's rare that artists use interludes for anything other than filler material on an album, but every interlude on Take Care was well done and provided contrast to the @NickiMinaj and @liltunchi tracks that were singles and subsequently garnered the most attention. For the people who really listen, it was cool to see that the album was chalked full of unique sounds, samples and features rather than high profile cameos. I really think Take a Shot will end up being a top 5 all time Drake track for me. The contrast of a subtly bitter, but proud tone lyrically gives the track an added layer of depth that isn't noticeable without listening closely. With all the ways to relate to the track it's no surprise that Weezy felt that same sort of personal accessibility to Drake's story...

Second Tier (8-13):
8. Headlines
9. We'll Be Fine
10. The Real Her
11. Crew Love
12. Underground Kings
13. Cameras Good Ones Go Interlude
Headlines ended up being a great way to get pop culture's attention as a lead single, but in the grand scheme of things there were a many more tracks I liked better on the album. In my ranking of second tier tracks, you'll find a few tracks that you may have skipped over, but I personally liked a lot. For example, We'll Be Fine an Crew Love stood out as tracks that I found myself gravitating to the more I listened to the album. We'll Be Fine is a mellow and upbeat and Crew Love is about as close to a ballad as you're going to get from Drake. I have to be in study or thinking mode to be able to listen to Drake's slower songs on Take Care, but that's not a bad thing because most artists can't pull off different sounds and tempos.

All in all, it's fair to say that I enjoyed Take Care about as much as I liked Wiz Khalifa's Rolling Papers and Drake's previous album Thank Me Later, but not as much as B.O.B.'s Adventures of Bobby Ray or Drake debut So Far Gone. I know it's becoming a little cliche that I keep giving albums a 4 out of 5 headphone grade on my review, but unfortunately since I have a 40 hour a week job, I don't have the time to review albums I don't enjoy. As a result, you're probably never going to get a review from me that is less that 4 out of 5 headphone because I won't be motivated enough to write about it if it's less than that. With that being said, I won't hesitate to critique an artist I really like if he sells out in any way (see Wale when he went MMG). Still, keeping it positive is what I try to do because hate is worthless emotion and you're not reading my blog in the first place if you want critical reviews...#NotMyCupOfTea

In two months Take Care has sold 1.3 million copies and will eminently head toward double platinum status in the coming months (especially if the song Take Care is released as a single). In other words, if you were looking for a sophomore slump from Drizzy, you've probably given up by now. It'll be interesting to see where he goes with his next album, but at this point it's safe to say he's proven that his lyrical depth and storytelling ability is second to none.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Div Pac Heat Like It's Their Job

Now that I've posted damn near every track off @itsPacDiv's newest release(The Div), I suppose it would be appropriate for me to pick a favorite track on the album. It was a tough choice and ended up being a push between the No I.D. produced Greatness and the track below, Top Down. To be completely honest, it's a mood dependent choice between the two tracks. If I'm in the mood for an uplifting, inspirational joint, I go with Greatness, otherwise I stick with the more traditional, big bass, quick wit rhymes of Top Down.

The only real takeaway from this post should be that Pac Div continues to be one of the best Hip Hop groups out that more people need to know about and appreciate. Shout out to @caseyveggies and @skeme on the features and @swiffd on the beat. The names may seem foreign now, but they've got just as much of a stake in the game as a lot of other over-rated muh fuggas that are coveted and sell more than their music would suggest. Can I get a hashtag truth?? #TRUTH

Pac Div feat Casey Veggies & Skeme - Top Down (prod by Swiff D)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Videos of the Week

Love the shirt above! "I wish a mother fu@%er would say I ain't Hip Hop." Now you may look at the videos below and not recognize too many familiar names or songs, but it's probably one of my favorite Friday video posts in quite a while. For starters, you've got the delightfully country mud/proud redneck fest that is @Yelawolf's Let's Roll video. Coming in right behind that you'll find the @kfuckingp Eastbound and Down Season 3 trailer (coming Feb 19th) and quite possibly the most entertaining Hip Hop artist (@playboytre) going OFF on some dude who decided to hate on his birthday party. If you don't like vulgar, in your face, creative insults delivered in countrayass tone then you should probably skip over that one. In other words, plenty of variety below folks, hope this signifies a fun start to the weekend...#LetsGetDrunk

Yelawolf feat Kid Rock - Let's Roll (Video)

Eastbound and Down Season 3 Trailer

Playboy Tre's Latest Look at This S**t! (Who doesn't like a party?!?!)

Trae feat MDMA Lupe Fiasco Big Boi Wale Wiz Khalifa - I'm On (Remix)(Video)

YG and Nipsey Hussle - The Motto (Remix) (Video)

Tyga - Rack City (Video)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

"I Gotta Get Ya, Can't Let You Get Away"

Will somebody tell @official_flo to slow his roll a lil bit and give the rest of the game a chance? Good god almighty! Counting the track below, he's now got three, count it, THREE number 1 caliber singles floating around right now. I know I'm a little premature on Gotta Get Ya (below) being a #1 hit, but it's better than the released version of Good Feelin' (but not as good is the Avicii version) and comparable to his newest single Wild Ones.

What's so good about the tracks? For starters, I'm having a really hard time articulating how awesome the @davidguetta beat is on this track. The initial syncopated electro rhythms that steadily gain in intensity and lead up to the above average hook provided by @neyocompound is a perfect blend of greatness. I'm not sure if you were planning on copping the sequel to Flo-Rida's Only One Flo (Part 1), but if you weren't I'd challenge you to find me another album in 2012 that has three singles that can match what Flo has put out this year. Good luck with that...#CantTopIt

Flo-Rida feat Ne-Yo - Gotta Get Ya (prod by David Guetta)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Fresh Plate of Hot Beats

It's pretty rare nowadays for an artist/producer to release a strictly beat or instrumental only mixtape. It's ever more rare that the same beat tape is widely disseminated and recognized by the online Hip Hop community as something that you should universally give a listen to. The aforementioned statements are just a few reasons why anything Chuck Inglish produces is dope.

Maybe dope isn't the right word, unique is a more fitting description for what he provides the game of Hip Hop. Sure everybody loves 808 bass and it's been a staple of American R&B/Hip Hop since Marvin Gaye's Sexual Healing. But the beats @chuckisdope puts together goes way beyond just bass. Don't get me wrong my favorite beats of his are the ones that make it seems like a caged gorilla is trying to escape the trunk, but there's something innately throw back about his sound that makes everything he creates so fresh.

The beat below is an example of why simple can be perfect if done right. XXL has a heavy, grimy simplicity to it that will find a way to make your head nod. There aren't a lot of crazy bells and whistles like what you'd normally hear on the radio, but therein lies the appeal. Sometimes less is more and in Chuck's case, less with get the job done by #WRKING...

Chuck Inglish - XXL

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sammy Adams is Taking on the World

Up to this point, I've made a concerted effort to try and get my hands on anything @SammyAdams has released. Why you may ask? Songs like Driving Me Crazy, his Deadmau5 cover of Some Chords or even his track Comin' Up. Keepin' it 100, I've had a hard time differentiating him from Mac Miller, but that's not a bad thing because Mac has taken off this year. What I like better about Sammy is that he brings the heat when it comes to uptempo party music. Need an example? Look no further than his latest track below, Take the World. It's got an engaging, electronic beat that's pretty easy to wild out to. Put it this way, as soon as the hook comes in, you're either going to turn it down because it's a little too intense or you're going to turn it up and rock the f word out.

The track below surfaced on his "pre-album" mixtape titled Into the Wild that dropped on New Years Eve. Found it pretty cool because the tape was posted by @deejayillwill to Hot New Hip Hop, which lends even more credibility. Sort of like finding low hanging fruit at the club around 2 AM, Ill Will knows where the good new music lives. As far as the real album, no idea when it's set to drop, but I'm happy giving his pre-album tape a few spins in the meantime. I'd suggest you do the same and rep Cambridge, Massachusetts in the process...#SamAdamsIsntJustGoodBeer

Sammy Adams - Take the World (prod by JOB)

Feel free to stream the mixtape below if you're not sure yet if you wanna cop it above. Sampling always helps those who are stingy with the storage...#NewSchoolInternetProverb

Monday, January 09, 2012

Seeking Bromance? Avicii's Got Your Back

Seeing that I've fully hitched on to the @Avicii band wagon, I feel like it's my responsibility to make up for lost time. When I say lost time, it's because the track below was Tim Berg's (aka Avicii's real name) first official single that was released back in 2010. I'm posting the most pop, radio friendly Vocal Edit version of Seek Bromance since it'll be the most palatable for the audience reading this blog I'm surmising. Even better, if you're a visual learner and liked the movie The Hangover or The Hangover 2, you'll probably appreciate the video for the track below.

What always gets overlooked on high profile dance tracks is the woman with the great vocals singing the vocals. Who other than maybe @cascada_music can you name that consistently is recognized vocally on dance tracks? In the case below, it seems like a pretty blatant cut and paste job with the vocals as American singer Amanda Wilson (@1amandawilson) originally provided the vocals found on Avicii's Seek Bromance (Vocal Edit) on the track Love You Seek by Italian DJ Samuel Sartini. You wouldn't know all that just listening to the song, which is why it's pretty cool sometimes when you get to learn the back story regarding the genesis of a track.

If you're going to be in the Southwestern US the next couple weeks, go and catch Avicii in concert and let me know what you think...

Tim Berg - Seek Bromance (Avicii Vocal Edit)

Sunday, January 08, 2012

The Good Doctor Pays T.I. a Visit

A couple of weeks ago there were rumors floating around that @tip was in studio with @drdre. I'll admit it, when I first heard the news, I was pretty excited because it was like getting to see one of the best players getting to work with one of the best coaches. On top of that, they have two very different sounds, so meshing them together on a track was intriguing to me.

What ended up coming out on Popped Off was a middle of the road, mellow track. It was cool hearing Dr Dre on the mic again and you could hear his influence on the sound of the beat. Could it have been better and done a better job of living up to the massive expectations of such a heavyweight collab? Probably...but the Heat didn't win a title last year if you catch my drift (but they'll win it this year). In other words, watch out for a follow up track as their chemistry develops in working together.

Really doe, anybody else catch that throat babies like T.I. dropped on the last verse? Gotta love a little vulgar creativity...#SayYesToThroatBabies

T.I. feat Dr Dre - Popped Off (prod by Dr Dre)

Again, if you haven't heard Tip's new mixtape, feel free and stream or download below...

Saturday, January 07, 2012

"Bitch You Wasn’t With Me Shooting in the Gym"

Just when @tip was starting to get all the love with his newest mixtape, here comes the Don of Dade county with his own high profile mixtape. Yesterday at 3:05 @rickyrozay's Rich Forever mixtape dropped on LiveMixtapes.com. Naturally, I gravitated toward the @drake track, but what I found weird is that the mixtape was simultaneously released with the video of Stay Scemin'. That means not only did the track not leak before the mixtape dropped (rare), but the video came along with it (even rarer).

To begin with, shouts out to @THEBEATBULLY for putting together the instrumental on the track. I mention that first because it was the basis for why this track is dope. Even though it's on Ross's tape, it still comes off as more of a Drake track because Rick's verse is so short and his role is primarily to come in with the hook. With all the buzz surrounding the potential of @FrencHMonTanA, his verse to me was as forgettable as they come. It's an unenviable task following Drake's verse on a track, but when you go from a well thought out, coherent verse (Drake) to random nonsense about the feds and people in jail, it's noticeable.

Still a solid effort on the track all around, so be sure and cop Rich Forever, which is again, free for all because Hip Hop is badass and Hip Hop artists fully understand what can be gained from releasing free music...#GetWithTheProgramEveryoneElse

Rick Ross feat Drake & French Montana - Stay Schemin' (prod by The Beat Bully)

Friday, January 06, 2012

Videos of the Week

Lots of new media from a lot of my favorites that are releasing albums soon like T.I., Big K.R.I.T. and R Les. Don't sleep on that in studio MPC remix of Drake's Crew Love by @MeLoXTRA. That mix was interesting and dope all at once the way he put the samples together. Also, if you don't at least crack a smile when you watch three year old Marek rocking out and damn near memorizing word for word Sexy and I Know It, then you're no friend of mine. Kids really are under-rated sources for entertainment...#Truth

Ryan Leslie - Good Girl (Video)

Three Year Old Marek Sings and Rocks Out To Sexy and I Know It

MeLo-X: Drake X The Weeknd - Crew Love (Live Re-edit)

Travis Porter Ft. Young Jeezy & 2 Chainz - You Don't Know Bout It (Video)

Big Sean and Kanye Perform on New Years in Vegas

Big K.R.I.T. Vitamin Water Uncapped Mini-Doc

J Cole Talks About Tracks on Cole World (Interview)

T.I. Speaks on His Two Personas (Interview)

Thursday, January 05, 2012

"Keep My Shades on Medusa Couldn't Seduce Me"

Infuse an already bangin' track by @BEIMAEJOR and @JColeNC with @Wale, @TreySongz and @tpain and what do you think the results will be? The common thread on this track is an ability to go R&B and also be able to spit on the mic. All of the aforementioned artists excel at that and don't sound out of place on either side of the fence, making this a starting five that is not to be trifled with.

I'm still waiting to hear a firm date on Bei's debut studio album titled Making Up that's due out sometime in 2012. I'd imagine Trouble will eventually land on that album, but you never know with the amount of mixtapes he's been able to churn out. I've always been a big fan of anything and everything Bei touches, so I'm really hoping he can put together a solid debut so that more people can become aware of all that he has to offer Hip Hop. Simple put, dude is talented and more people need to know about him, that's what I'm sayin'...#GetWithTheProgram

Bei Maejor feat Wale Trey Songz J Cole T Pain - Trouble (Remix)

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

"I’m in a Hot Wheel and I’m Driving Real Fast"

After a few more listens to @tip's new mixtape, I may have settled on a favorite track. Whether it be a mixtape or studio album, a common practice seems to put an intro followed by two of the best album or mixtape's top singles at tracks #2 and #3. Knowing that I naturally gravitate toward the "first impression singles" in those top 3 slots...especially when I see it features @IAmTravisPorter, @DROPOLO and @producertminus on the beat like Hot Wheels does.

The track is every bit authentic Southern trap Hip Hop with every verse marked by exaggerated southern drawls. Add to it a catchy as hell upbeat instrumental and you've got a great follow up track to the hyped up title track with Jeezy. I'm pretty sure every media outlet has leaked and posted that track already, so I'm sticking to the off the beaten path tracks that you might miss even if you check the internet daily for new music like me. It's what small time bloggers like me gotta do to differentiate from the Hip Hop blog heavyweights that have a staff and budget rather than a one man army like my own little piece of Hip Hop real estate on the internet...#InternetRealEstateWins

If you haven't already, please do yourself a favor and cop the mixtape at one of my favorite mixtape outlets here, here or even here if you want to get straight to the point. It's free on all three links, which is just part of the awesomness of Hip Hop...#FreeWinsInTheLongRun

T.I. feat Travis Porter Young Dro - Hot Wheels (prod by T-Minus)

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